Tuesday, September 13, 2016

SBISD Graduates Outscore State and National Averages on 2016 ACT

Spring Branch ISD students have posted scores higher than the state and national averages on the ACT, a curriculum-based measure of college readiness, even though test takers marked an all-time high with 1,110 district students. Four years ago, SBISD had 887 students take the ACT.

In the ACT, students are tested in English, mathematics, reading and science, and earn individual scores in each area as well as an overall composite score. The composite represents an average of the four individual scores.


The percent of SBISD students testing who qualified by ACT’s research-based measures as ready for college-level coursework far exceeded state and national averages, too, compared to college readiness benchmark scores in designated college courses.

This year’s results show that SBISD’s composite score was 23.2, far above the Texas average of 20.6 and the ACT reported national average composite score of 20.8. Possible scores on the ACT range from 1 up to 36, often called a “perfect” score.

Earlier this year, two Memorial High School students – an incoming senior and junior – received a perfect 36 on the ACT. See related story/link here. . .

“Spring Branch students continue to produce some of the highest ACT scores in the Houston area and outscore their state and national peers on average,” Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri said.

“This year’s gains are worth celebrating as we work to prepare all students for T-2-4 success in whatever they elect to do after high school – military training, technical certifications, two- and four-year college degrees.”

SBISD student performance on the ACT also topped the state averages in all five testing areas – English, mathematics, reading, science and composite. And though more SBISD students took the ACT last year, district performance went up in four of five areas (English, reading, science and composite score).

In addition, this growth reverses declines observed the previous year in the same areas. State averages, by comparison, declined in four of five areas and were flat in the one remaining area.

In college readiness measures, SBISD students posted higher than state and national scores in several areas – 71 percent ready in college English composition, 61 percent in college algebra, 59 percent college social science, and 52 percent college biology.

By comparison, the Texas averages for college readiness were 57 percent in college English composition, 42 percent in college algebra, 43 percent in college social science, and 35 percent in college biology.

National averages for college readiness among ACT-tested high school graduates this year were slightly higher than the state, but lower than the district averages – 61 percent in college English, 44 percent in college-level reading for social sciences, 41 percent for college algebra, and 36 percent for college biology, or science.

College-readiness benchmarks were 18 on the ACT English test, which indicates that a student is likely ready for a college composition course and would earn a “C” or better grade. Other college benchmarks are: 22 for college algebra and social science and 23 for college biology, or science.

Nationwide, 64 percent of the 2016’s high school graduates took the ACT, or nearly 2.1 million students, compared to 59 percent of students a year ago.

Many national news reports focused on the latest scores from the ACT as more evidence that this year’s high school graduates aren’t ready for college-level courses. On the other hand, low scores were expected due to the growing and changing demographics of the student testing population.

Five Year Trends - Average ACT Scores (ACT College Readiness Letter for SBISD - Aug. 24, 2016) >>


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